Left Coast Media

Custom Reality and You

October 04, 2018 Left Coast Media Episode 20
Left Coast Media
Custom Reality and You
Show Notes Transcript
Returning from hiatus, comrade Tiberius sits down with Peter Coffin to discuss their book Custom Reality and You. Subscribe to their YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/petercoffin) for some fantastic video essays, and get the book in e-book or dead tree format at amzn.com/1521741042

Support the show

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to this podcast from the left coast media collective apart of the critical mediations network to connect with us, follow the collective on twitter at left-pad or email us@leftcoastpodcastatGmail.com. Our work is supported by our patrion subscribers, including a kgb operative, Casey, the Kudzu commune, Jake, helping calm rates and communist dog. You can become a supporter by visiting Patrion.com/left coast media. Collective members include ANTIFA Pope, communal source check informant potato, Rain Outer Siberia, Rosa and R, R, r, r, n.

Speaker 2:

It helps if I'm on the right screen when I unmute myself

Speaker 3:

and welcome back to the North Bay type

Speaker 2:

areas. And I am here today speaking with the author of a fantastic new book that I have just finished recently. Peter coffin a good. Go ahead, introduce yourself. Let us know what you're doing, what you're getting up to, you know. Well, my name is Peter Coffin as you said. Uh, I've written a book called customer reality. And you, uh, on top of that I make youtube videos of various series of sort of cultural critique. And also spend too much time on twitter as, as do we all, although I've been getting better about it recently, spending less time on twitter, but uh, I, I, I've actually been taken to calling you a video essayists more than just like a youtube person because I find that it's, it's a little bit easier to tell other people who don't spend a lot of time on youtube. Like what is the actually doing so. Well, it's certainly, I mean there's some degree where I am using the typical youtube format, the Vlog, the, a direct address type video. But a lot of what I do is definitely not in the same realm. Content wise is what you would find on say like, I don't know, just a regular lifestyle vlogger or whatever.[inaudible]. I mean you're definitely using the aesthetics of the, the medium as defined by sort of convention. But I definitely do appreciate that you put a lot of thought into the work that you put out. And uh, I think that that definitely holds over into this book that you've written a custom reality. A new which is about the idea as you have phrased it, have cultivated identity as opposed to simply sort of like a constructed identity or like a personal identity.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. And identity that ultimately it's not necessarily formed by capital but encouraged by capital or an entity with power to sort of take advantage of who you are for its own purposes basically.

Speaker 2:

Right. And I think the book sort of starts with, um, kind of, uh, uh, Phyllis, almost a philosophical construction of like what reality is, what the individual is and then ties that back into the power structures that, that sort of create this collective reality and therefore by his cultivating our identities. So you go through this whole thing about like what reality is, you know, and you kind of go into postmodernism at the same time as, as a sort of way of deconstructing reality. If you can maybe talk a little bit about like what I'm like the barriers of what postmodernism is able to provide. Because you talked a lot about how it is like in a philosophical sense, it is about deconstructing. It's, it's taking ideas and philosophies apart and trying to understand them at like a very core level, but then you you say it doesn't build anything back up and that in in the wake of the destruction of totalizing philosophies and ideologies, what is left if nothing is put back into its place is is kind of a power vacuum

Speaker 4:

a little bit. Yes. I think that postmodernism as I mean to use the most simplified manner of discussing it because if you just say postmodernism, people who are into postmodern and post structural thought will automatically sort of be like, well, that's not even how you would describe it. I've sort of tried to simplify it for a quote unquote normal person or a lay person, but sort of what looking at postmodernism is often a critical history of modernism and modernist thought, which often lends towards universal truths lends towards a or tends to lean towards universalism. Just a actual final objective ideas and postmodernism sort of deconstructs that talks about how ultimately you're looking at everything through your own perspective. You see things as an individual. You imbue sort of your background, your cultural background, your individual history, into everything that you see, and while that is not necessarily the full blown core of postmodernism, I think that it's important to think about that because we do end up, uh, doing that we deconstruct media and uh, and also other things that aren't exactly media, more like, um, say political standpoints or philosophies. We deconstruct this stuff and sort of lay it as bare as we it is. If you took it apart piece by piece, laid all the parts out and then didn't really do a lot with it and it's not necessarily a bad thing to have done that, but it's also not necessarily a thing that leaves us with the next step either. We sort of have to both deconstruct and reconstruct, which is a sort of a Meta modern type viewpoint, which is sort of a Meta and for lack of a better way of putting it, a Meta analysis of both modernism and postmodernism. But the way we get sorted to our base level, it's not necessarily hurtful or bad. It's, it's, it's beneficial to do this. It's just, it's, it's a very specific action that you take and that's sort of why I detailed it in that manner, saying it brings us down to base level but doesn't do much more than that, which again, is not automatically good or bad because there are a lot of people that certainly assert that is bad and it is, in my opinion, just part of the things that we should be doing. Um, whereas a lot of people look at it like, well, let's just, uh, let's cynically take everything apart. I mean there's, there's different ways of looking at that process. I tend to take the more positive view of it because we do need to know everything at its base level or at least try to. For instance, um, there's a, a number of books that a mckell or Michelle, I can't pronounce his first name very well, but Fuko did Michelle Fuko yeah, I've pronounced it right before, but it never comes out right when I started to say it. It's French. It's very difficult to pronounce. And in Americans really don't have any business trying to pretend like we know how to speak French correctly unless we've actually taken French in some linguistics class or, or what have you. Even then, even then, there are a lot of people who have done that who aren't necessarily good at that. But he did generally critical critical histories of things like, um, the way we, uh, detained people or our correctional system, our health system. He did things like that and just totally brought them down as far as he could to sort of demonstrate the different perspectives that one might have on it and sort of show that it wasn't necessarily this objective total thing. Like there's no actual thing. It's a lot of different things that can come together and a lot of different people experience them differently. And I mean there's a lot more to the book but uh, or his various books rather. But that I think is kind of the core when we start talking about what postmodern or post structural thoughts. I just tend to use the word postmodern because it gets confusing for people who are lay to the idea or who are coming to it from say your Jordan Peterson point of view, where they're just like postmodern as, um, as a bad thing. It's not, it's just a thing. It's, it's, it's criticism, it's skepticism, it's all of those types of things and those things aren't inherently good or bad. It really depends on how you apply them.

Speaker 2:

Right? And I think that one of the ways that you describe the, the kind of postmodern or poststructuralist approach to reality as you are sort of laying it out in this book is that reality is just a word. There was no concept of reality before humans came into existence in no small part because there was no concept of a concept like these are human constructions. And then therefore, if there's, you know, the material universe is a thing that simply exists. We can't attach any ideas to it because those ideas are filtered through our perception. Uh, the, the next paragraph down here is everything we observe as automatically viewed through the lens of perspective seeing differently due to variations and everything from our optic nerves to our cultural sensibilities. Right? So, so our, our perception is individual and so at a, at a kind of a basic level, our reality has a heavy individual bias in it, right?

Speaker 4:

Yeah. We're, we're very much sort of, well, okay, so you can be empathetic or sympathetic, but you cannot be another person. And the more you know about somebody else's experience, the more you can attempt to keep them in your consideration when you're talking about the world or how, how things are for people to talk in a more generalized sort of way. But there's also the fact that the experience that you have is your, you can't have somebody else's experience. You can only have your experience. And because of that, the way you interact with the world, the universe as it is, as like to see, I like to say like what is or as it is, just to try to remove any terminology from it or at least as much as I can, the way that we interact with that is sort of what reality is for us as an individual. And I think that the reason why a lot of the things that we have going on in the world today are a result of sort of an algorithmic curation of the best, best thing for you that sort of keeps presenting you with a thing that it thinks is going to make you, um, either happier or more validated or just more likely to act towards whatever and that they want you to act. Which apparently in your case does not include law cats. Which I was very sad to see. No, I don't. I actually don't love a cat picture is I, I don't. Um, and it's not because I don't like cats. I actually very much like cats. But like for me, it, it, it, it makes me feel like I'm trying to distract myself from a real problem or cause oftentimes people post things like that when there's something bad going on in the world or you have something bad going on in your life and they know it and they're trying to cheer you up. Yeah. Take a moment to, to watch this video of a cute kitty before you scroll on through your depressing timeline kind of thing. Yeah, exactly. And it, it, I get that for some people it, it functions of self care, but for me it makes me feel like I'm trying to distract myself from something that I could be putting brainpower towards. Um, and that isn't again how everybody sees it. But again, that's, that's my reality, that's my perspective. And because we all sort of operate in these functionally different realities, like I said, it could be because you have blurrier. Eyesight could be because your hearing is better or worse. It could be because you come from a different cultural background or a different place in the world. I'm somebody who works in Foxconn, for instance, has a very different perspective than somebody who is self employed successfully. So for instance, here in the United States, people view the world differently, they experience the world differently and because reality really is just sort of this measurement of the universe as it is to look at it as though we all just automatically have a collective experiences or for that matter that we all individually can perceive things objectively. I think that these are both ideas that we just, we, we can't deliver on, so to speak.

Speaker 2:

Right? And, and I think, um, you know, part of the reason why it was so easy for, you know, the systems of power that our capital to step into this deconstruction of the modern concept of objective reality of totalizing philosophies is that it is very easy to say that if you can just deconstruct everything to the point of like almost meaninglessness, that you just keep digging and digging and digging and find that there's just no a core objective thing to hold onto. It is very easy to then become unmoored from the things that are outside of you to say that if nothing is truly real, then I am the only thing that is real. And the only thing that matters to me is me. It's Kinda like it's going back to that sort of, um, a cartesian concept of I think therefore I am. And then just stopping there.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. I would have to agree with that. Um, it ultimately 10 results in sort of a, I would say existential crisis or um, even just a pervasive nihilism and not like a. There is such thing as a good nihilism. I'm on nihilism. Is Sort of, is acknowledging one's place among the cosmos, so to speak. But there's also a sort of a notch the creator of minecraft type nihilism where you just don't care about anything at all and you think that the ultimate thing is basically like, am I making myself feel as good as I can at the moment? And that then, you know, trends towards pleasure oriented philosophies that there's nothing wrong with seeking pleasure again, but you end up with people who are operating on principles that are not based around how to make the world any better for anyone other than themselves and at this very moment.

Speaker 2:

And I think that leads into the kind of a egoist, objectivist kind of argument that you sort of like late into the next part here where you're talking about essentially that like sort of taking this idea of the lack of objective reality outside of yourself, which, um, I, I think you touched on it in the book, but like objectivism really doesn't make sense if there is such a thing as objective truth and morality. And I think that it's just, it's just one of those things that you kinda just have to sort of gloss over as this is inconsistent with itself. And if you just, you just sort of had to step beyond it to get to what. Okay. What are you actually saying though?

Speaker 4:

Yeah. Well, okay. So with objective of them, it's actually kind of amazing. Ayn Rand believed that humanity didn't actually experience reality, but that, uh, they, that humanity sort of interfaces with reality, which implies that it is outside of ourselves, but she also believed that the individual could somehow perceive objective reality. I just, it's in my opinion, those two things are just irreconcilable. I don't understand how you could hold those two thoughts. Um, it just, it seems like if you're acknowledging the flaws and humanity, um, the perceptive flaws, the, uh, the logic flaws that a person can have on and does have, there's no such thing as a person with perfect logic that doesn't exist. A computer with perfect logic, most likely doesn't exist because they were all made by people. There's something wrong somewhere, but the idea that, that imperfect machine could see an objective reality. It just seems bizarre to me because objective would mean the final word. You see all of that. No matter what evidence you find or, or uncover or review your ultimately seeing that through your own lens. You're seeing that with your cultural experience, your economic experience. You're seeing that with your imperfect biological instruments. You're just, it's not possible to see objective reality is possible to see something that may be very similar to everybody else's reality because I mean, we all do have common experiences. We have bodies that will function similarly and we all live on a planet where we breathe oxygen and things like that. Those are concepts. There's a lot of constants in human life, but we interpret that stuff whether we want to, believe it or not, it's were existing on as an imperfect interpretation of it. Like our perception is imperfect. Our memories are more imperfect. Um, there's just a lot of imperfection in the human experience. And my thought is, is the way we can get around that is a, is sort of science and dialectics and collectivization, these types of things, these sort of corroboration collaboration type ideas allow us to share experiences and at least get a best idea of all of the information from many different perceptions and then attempt to aggregate it. And that gives us a best yes, towards what quote unquote objective reality is. But, uh, as for a person running on reality, it's just, it's, it's contradictory to say that a person could perceive objective, it just seems like nonsense to me. Understanding that the brain and the body are imperfect, right? Yeah. And, and I think, you know, it's definitely not the only thing that is terribly

Speaker 2:

or not thought through at all in objectivist philosophy, which, yeah, which I hesitate even to call a philosophy just because of how like balls to the wall bad it is, but you know, what are you going to do a. But you do also talk about egoism, which I think is the, a much better thought out, more, um, more clearly consistent version of what objectivism is purporting to be, you know, you, you bring that up as a way of saying that it is this idea and philosophy that I don't, I don't know if you specifically call it out as this, but it's sort of like springs out of that same kind of a liberal thought of the individual as, as the sort of like center of, um, the primacy of the individual. Yeah, exactly, exactly. The primacy of the individual. And, uh, basically like the subordination of everything that is not the individual to the individual.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. I wish I had used the phrase the primacy of the individual in the book. I don't think I ever did, but I actually lifted that from Sarkar describing his note. His liberalist philosophy is his little manifesto that was saying how much they believe in the primacy of the individual. It's like, well, that's what I've been saying is bad this whole time. Yeah. But, um, yeah, I think that it does ultimately come from that same area. And it is, like you said, a lot more well thought out in a lot of cases. I think, you know, we have people who believe in sort of an egoist point of view that are a little bit less, for lack of a better word, a ridiculous than people who believe in the objectivist point of view. But I think ultimately we also, I think egoism kind of by or not necessarily on purpose, uh, makes a case for, for collectivism because it talks about a collectivism from the standpoint of, uh, the Union of egoistic. That's a, a concept from a, the ego in its own or a unique property and its and its property. Yes. Which is a much. I read that and I, I find that one to be a lot better than the previous translation of it. I did think a lot more of the humor translates in that version of it and I think that that makes it a little bit different of a work because if you take Max sterner very seriously, you just basically think he's an asshole. And, and at least that's how I, I took him fairly serious. It was clear to me that he's being very sarcastic at times. But, uh, I don't think it really translated for me the amount of like what he was doing was humor. Uh, whereas in the unique and its property came off a lot more humorous to me. Um, that said the, there are a lot of people that will say metal Max. Turner is not a philosopher. He is just somebody who is poking fun at philosophers. And I think that that's kind of not taking it seriously enough. I think that there's a lot of actual coherent philosophy or philosophical ideas in the unique and it's property and he spent a lot of time studying philosophy with the, the young heck aliens of which Marx was one of them. So, I mean, this was a very serious group of people like, well, I mean they, they're all like sarcastic assholes and had a lot of fun, I'm sure. But every one of them seem to have their times. Yeah. Um, at least the ones that I've read my own, I, I'm not going to say that I've read every young regalian otherwise that would be ridiculous. And I'm not gonna say I've read everything from the ones that I've read, but yeah. Um, but I think I think to call Max Sterner not a philosopher is, is definitely to discredit him. Yeah. I think. I think it's pulling back from what he actually did and there's a lot of things that I think I just, I don't outright disagree because he often implied that there really is no, no authority that should have any power over the individual. And I agree with that essentially. But he also very much centered things on the individual and I don't agree with that. That's again, I, I tend to generalize and simplify because I feel like there's a lot of things that one could get into that sort of Belabor the point so to speak. But I think that the general effect of sterner is sort of my intent was going to go into the Union of egoists. I think that the, the general effect is sort of advocation for a kind of different kind of collectivism, which I sort of don't agree with the kind of collectivism where everybody is there sort of to get what they want to get out of it to get personal validation as being with the other people within the collective essentially. Yes. That's something I'm going into in my new, very important documentary about Jordan Peterson and ready player one. Um, I ended up talking about alienation and about how these sort of ideas give you a place to belong. And that place to belong I believe is sort of the union go esther's, right? Yes. It's a union of equals collectivism, but it's Kinda the individualistic version of collectivism. Yeah, exactly. Which I think is. It's obviously contradictory to say, but when you start to think about like, okay, this group of when, okay, so many people love to say the words Echo Chamber and that's not just a right wing or left wing word. I've heard people on on of all political affiliations and and philosophies say echo chamber, but in echo chambers, a bunch of people who ultimately agree on something and that's the reason that they're together and they all attempt to get that out of it. They get validation out of it. They get, I believe in some manner somewhere to belong, but that someplace to belong is centered entirely on them for them. And it's like that for every member of it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and, and it's, it's basically about like a mutual reinforcement of the primacy of the individual. It's basically a lot of people coming together and saying, yes, you are correct. Yes, you are good. You know?

Speaker 4:

Yes, we are. We are truly the smartest people when it comes to our philosophy on this thing in the world that we all observe. Right. Which is arguably nothing like that. There's no. Arguably nobody is right, but that's not, that's, that gets into the, uh, the nihilism area,

Speaker 2:

but, uh, not necessarily constructive nihilism area either. Yeah. And, and you go into a little bit of a discussion on video games and ready player one, which I think really well clearly demonstrates like the connection between these kinds of egoist unions or validation gangs or tribal tribal affiliations, which I agree with you I don't like because of it's like very racist. Imperial undertones.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. I do think that the word tribalism, I tried to just avoid it. I like it. It's odd to me that more people don't talk about how that's a bit weird to be using that to describe like people who are basically like together for a specific purpose because that's not relieve and what a traditional tribe is either like a, a tribe would have actually been a collective, like a community type collective of some kind. And obviously we decimated the tribes. So I mean, it, it seems like such a weird word to use to describe people who agree with each other. Just a little too much.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's an odd word, but it's A. Yeah, it's a bad word. I do. I do rather like the phrase validation gang though. Thank you. You,

Speaker 4:

that one took a lot of consideration. I'm, I came up with that as I was writing the book itself because I'd actually described that several times and never come up with a term for it. Uh, you were sort of stuck with, like I said, tribalism or echo chamber or, or things like that. And, and I think that that's none of it actually fully describes what's going on, uh, because it's sort of, it's not necessarily collective but rather as sort of shaky alliance so to speak. Um, and again can very much be that way. Like a traditional, like a, an organized crime version of a gang is kind of at any time somebody could easily double cross somebody else and profit. And let's kind of what I'm attempting to call into the, the connotation of is sort of the organized crime style gang and then orienting around validation,

Speaker 2:

right? And so then if you're, you know, when, when you're talking about if the individual holds primacy over basically everything else but the needs wants reality of the individual and you have people who are seeking out these, this union with other people who feel this way, these validation gangs. What happens when somebody with a lot of power then sort of steps into that vacuum and gives people a way to basically have their environment reflect back to themselves essentially like to, to sort of, you know, take, take the, the ability of those with power to shape the environment and, and shape it in such a way that whatever it is that gives you personal validation is what they are then going to a mold around you. When you talked about Edward Bernays and propaganda, there are ways that they sort of lay out to shape and control your decisions through these and environmental control. And over time with the way that technology has progressed and we have been able to take people as, as more than just like really broad demographics, we have the ability to narrow it down further and further to the individual itself to determine like what google or google results are going to be. What gives you personally a personal validation

Speaker 4:

or, or, uh, for, for, for that matter, facebook. Facebook has been in the news so much for data collection and, and their artificial intelligence, uh, that sort of makes all these decisions as to what it's going to put in front of your face. It does that obviously because it has actions that wants you to perform and it thinks that these are going to be the, the pieces of information, the graphics, the what have you, that is going to inspire you to perform that action more than all of the other ones available to it at the moment. So I guess I'm sorry, what was the question I got?

Speaker 2:

Um, I mean, I'm not sure that I exactly had a question but. So I'm basically just asking like, what is it about this sort of like environmental control that necessitates this idea of the primacy of the individual and how has that sort of shaped by power both in the real world and in the virtual world, which I agree, I would say that they are reflections of each other and not separate entities, separate areas of life. But you know, a lot of people do still think of them as separable.

Speaker 4:

Okay. So the necessity of a, the primacy of the individual, a sort of, if you consider yourself where the buck stops, so to speak, then you to use more official sounding terms, consider yourself the authority on things and being used, sort of construct your own reality out of perception. If you were encouraged to not look beyond that reality, then you're more likely to just, uh, you know, let's say we put an advertisement in front of you. The advertisement says we're the best this thing. Uh, all of the other, this thing are worse than us. You Go, well, my judgment says sure. Yeah, I believe it. So, I mean, we don't add any more scrutiny because we're believing ourselves. It's not even that we're believing the advertisement, it's that our judgment becomes the prime judgment, our authority over reality, because we do have authority over our own individual. Reality Becomes analogist to our authority over all of reality because we don't look at other reality won't look outside of our own individual reality. We don't care to do due process or, or due diligence or scrutiny or however you want to put it. We don't think critically about things. And if we have everybody sort of thinking that way, it requires so much less on the part of those shaping the environment to sell us on the environment so to speak. Uh, when we, like I said, see that advertisement and believe our snap judgment on that advertisement, that's the end of the work for. I'm the marketer who made that advertisement and I use advertisement because, um, it's, it is the most widely accepted form of propaganda there is that a lot of people don't look at it that way. But that's what it is. Corporate propaganda. Um, it's trying to get you to do something that benefits the power that put the advertisement out there. They bought the add time, or they own the network that the ad time exists on one of the two. So if people are sort of socialized to handle things that way, then they don't have to do anything else. They just have to have products and be convincing when they make advertisements.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they just need to get enough attention in the marketplace of ideas in order to have their product or whatever it is that they're attempting to sell, be in front of you so often that it just becomes part of your world. It's just normal.

Speaker 4:

And also if they dominate attention, that scrutiny might get because people who are applying scrutiny can also get attention and then ultimately becomes a war between whoever has the most of attention as currency as I like to put it, attention is currency in the marketplace of ideas. Whoever has the most of it and knows how to spend it right? Whoever, if the scrutiny we're to get more attention than the product, it doesn't really matter if the scrutiny is even right or not and vice versa. If the product gets more attention than the scrutiny of the product, whichever one gets the most attention and is used in the people use the attention in the smartest way, that's the reality. Ultimately people just sort of look at it individually and go, well, you know, I'm tired of this. I think that that is, that seems like it's full of less crap than that. So that's reality for me.

Speaker 2:

Right. And I think the way that the marketplace of ideas has been portrayed is that through the competition of ideas, you know, competing against each other in this marketplace. You then sort of like weed out the bad ideas that, that he,

Speaker 4:

the ideas that don't have validity, it's so, it's so ridiculous when you've spent time thinking about it because it's like, okay, so is there a process established for this to happen? Because no, there isn't. It's literally just like a metaphorical construct, a that it's applying the free market to discourse and thought like that's it. There's no process whatsoever. It's an imaginary. It's totally pretend. It's literally like we say, there's a marketplace of ideas, so there is. It's a framing device and that's it,

Speaker 2:

right? Because it's not so much a construct that is able to bring to surface the validity of an idea. It is a construct whereby the validity of ideas is set by the marketplace itself, that that there's, there's a disconnect between the direction that you know somebody, a liberal would be thinking about in this way, and someone with a more scientific or collectivist approach would, would think about it, but what you're getting from the marketplace of ideas is normalcy and acceptance. Whereas that normalcy and acceptance is then being confused for validity or truth,

Speaker 4:

and this is why you know, there's people who care so much about say influence and when people start saying like people on the right generally, but there are some people who at least think they're on the left. Bill Maher being one of them. These, these types of people. They think that the problem is that people are offended when somebody says something that's like invalidating or I'm really reductionist or, or whatever like that, about a group of people, whether it be black people, other people of color, trans people, et Cetera. They all seem to think that it's about whether or not people are offended and that's just not the case because I don't, like I said this in another video, I don't really care when people say the stuff that's quote unquote offended. It doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that they have in every single person on this planet, it has influenced whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Some people have more influence than others obviously, but everybody has influenced and those that are influenced by a person, um, listened to something that's reductivist, uh, or reductionist rather, um, or, you know, taking something down, a peg, so to speak. They hear that and they go, well, you know, this person. You don't say this out loud or consciously think that, but this person who I regard as smart or valid or funny or intelligent or just an all around good person is saying something that invalidates these people. And again, the person may not look at it that way. It just, they might view these people, whatever group we're talking about as something that isn't a big deal in the first place, uh, and are just getting something that reinforces that or they're involved in the culture war against that, that group of people as well. And when they hear their person that they are influenced by sort of reduce those people, um, they, whether they want to admit it or not, start looking at those people as less than they did prior to that. I had every sort of experience you have influences you in some way. And when you listen to somebody to talk, that is an experience. So ultimately, like you said, the reason that we, I at least I care about the marketplace of ideas as a sort of thing to debunk is, like you said, it sort of normalizes things. It, it makes them into the standard, so to speak, and although you ultimately will have multiple standards that are often competing with in one way or another, it doesn't mean that there aren't that act specifically because they're agreed viewpoint of the thing that validates them, get some more attention and, and they can affect other people in the world this way. This is, and again, it's, it's not a process, is a big pretend thing that somebody kind of came up with in a. like Oliver, w Holmes Jr came up with the thing that popularized the market. It's not the first time it was mentioned, but his, a dissension in Abram's versus the United States of America is ultimately what popularize the idea of the marketplace of ideas. Uh, it's, uh, I can't quote it off the top of my head, but it was basically, uh, saying that, uh, the best test to validity is if a thought can find itself acceptance within the marketplace. And something close to that. It's not exactly that, but that is ultimately the thing. One of the big things that I want to sort of reverse conception on because that is just pretend and we're all using it like an actual thing and we ended up normalizing stuff that reduces people standing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was. I was actually looking for the quote, but for some reason I couldn't find it. A quick scroll through the notes that I've had highlighted. I didn't apparently didn't highlight that one, so whatever. Anyway, so as you pointed out in the book this, this idea of the marketplace of ideas fits in directly with this like hyper capitalist liberalism that we live under called neoliberalism. Where as as you explain it is basically the marketization of everything. The, the delivery of all goods needs and wants is done through a marketization and the answer to everything can be found within the market and that is an incredibly dangerous thing because a marketplace is very susceptible to power and influence and one way that volatile too. Yeah, it's incredibly volatile. It's, it's incredibly susceptible to power and influence and it basically incentivizes the collection and hoarding of whatever currency the marketplace is based off of. Whether that is attention or you know, Fiat currency. Yeah. And, and so in, in that way with the marketplace of ideas, you know, as you were saying, you're not looking for truth, you're looking for the thing that is, that can be the most popular.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. You're looking for a way to gain supremacy over other things in the market because the market has a competitive situation. Um, the intent is obviously to win, um, that's the intent in the stock market. That's the intent in the tech market or, or, or any various market that there are multiple choices to make within every one of those choices wants to be the main choice. And although that is not what the market says that it sets out to do the market sets out to create a competitive situation in which each of the offerings is continuously improved as an attempt to become the best offering. And therefore the choice of the people. What it ultimately creates is just a situation where people are trying to not necessarily have the better product but just be consumed more.

Speaker 2:

Right. And they also tend to, they tend to breed monopolies. Do appellee's are oligopolies basically, and especially like what a marketplace really wants is a duopoly because a duopoly gives the illusion of choice, but it is a very easily controlled choice because uh, whichever one is the dominant can essentially collude with the other one to be a controlled opposition that would allow for the supremacy of both over any other competitive option,

Speaker 4:

which is what we tend to see in our, in our standard, like Fiat currency oriented markets. Now, like in almost every like an internet. It's att and t and comcast, like that's the main one. There's other Internet places but nothing on that level. Right? I mean, and that's not a real competitive situation.

Speaker 2:

I don't know. It's not but, but it also ties into our elections because the way that we do elections, like people have a people, their vote is their currency and they go in and there is a winner in there. And over time the, the groups who when the most are the ones who continue to get more of that currency given to them over time. And what you end up with in this marketplace of elections is a duopoly. You get two choices essentially, and it is very, like we said, it's very easy if you have two choices to control both of them and still allow for that illusion of freedom of choice because it's versus blue. Yeah, exactly. Because it's, as you say, like if you control the environment, even though you may have freewill within that environment, you're not really free to do whatever. You're free to choose between a very limited set of options, probably none of which are that great.

Speaker 4:

Exactly. I would have to agree. I like, okay. So this is part of the reason why I, I don't like to call myself pro choice, but rather pro rights because ultimately at choice can be manipulated in so many ways. Like you said, political elections or really I guess any sort of your vote counts situation, whether it be a, an actual official election or some other thing. Ultimately you can run a poll on twitter and with a few different techniques you can get whatever result you specifically want. Like, uh, you could say you could run your pole between chocolate ice cream and vanilla ice cream and you know, you'd have probably a few more people like chocolate and vanilla, or you could say chocolate rocky road and vanilla and vanilla could win because all the vanilla people will want vanilla. Whereas chocolate people will be like, well, I don't know, do I want chocolate or rocky road? Because they're both good. Like there's, you control the environment and you get the results you want. It's not so much freedom of choice that really gives us great results. It's freedom of genuine choice, so to speak. Uh, and education obviously if people are, if information is withheld from people, it's very hard for people to make a real genuine choice. And that's not people's fault. Obviously. That's the people who hold the information's fault, which is why people say information is power. However, I'd argue that the situation we exist in is not really that a lot of the time education is more looked at as a means to sort of bludgeon people with, I'm more educated than you and therefore I should be this. And then it, like Hillary Clinton was obviously significantly more educated than Donald Trump in all of the matters that are important for an election. And that was often used as sort of a, a bludgeon, like he's not qualified, she is quantified well because people kind of see through that sort of thing because everybody is sort of treated that way. I'm more educated than you. And therefore my choices matter more. It kind of creates a pushback and that's part of what I think got Donald Trump elected over Hillary Clinton. Even though I think more than a few people who voted for Donald Trump acknowledge he is definitely not as quote unquote qualified as Hillary Clinton. It's not necessarily qualification that automatically works, uh, when everybody is kind of treated as though they're less of a person for not being qualified. Then when we sort of see that situation mirror in our higher situations, the obvious want was to manipulate people to think like, okay, well she's more qualified. That's the only reason I should vote here. Um, and you know, what happens is things like this are getting away from the people who are typically using this stuff to and they're losing control on the environment and other people who understand that they're controlling the environment is contingent on, I guess just sort of attention, but it's more than just that. But to use the constructs we been talking about, Donald trump understands that attention is currency. I don't know if he understands it consciously or subconsciously, but he does understand it and he was able to take advantage of, of several, like failing links between previous institutional awareness and the people. Um, and now like he, he was able to subvert a lot of things that normally are controlled environmental aspects of an election. And it obviously worked

Speaker 2:

well. Yeah. And, and not only was he, you know, either consciously or intuitively aware of what he was doing and the fact that attention is currency, but he also had a lot of training in it because he was a reality show host for 10 years or something like a very long time. And how reality TV shows work and the way that they are sold and the way that they generate profit and money is exactly this kind of thing like attention is currency in the marketplace of ideas. And that same logic carries over to the way that television stations or news outlets, uh, think about and talk about everything else.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. Well, I mean, you think about it from the perspective of if attention is currency in the marketplace of ideas, if the sort of discourse and thought is looked at as if attention is currency in the marketplace of ideas, if we're all operating on that assumption that pretty much everything going on in the world is running on that kind of currency. Then of course television runs on that kind of currency because television is a thought and idea convenience machine, so to speak. Um, there's, there's very, very little, I think, difference between just the collective consciousness and what TV actually is, is putting out there. I think that it's sort of intrinsic, a back and forth where, you know, whatever the collective conscious is saying, television networks attempt to parrots and at the same time, whatever television, uh, is a tendency to put out there whether it be, you know, Fox News or MSNBC or whatever. The target demographic also tends to pair it. So we sort of get this, again, sort of a validation, um, cycle or dynamic where people are kind of just in a loop and we're not really doing a lot of critical thinking. And I guess that that's, that's the ultimate sort of crux of, of why I care about all of this stuff is it's all discouraging us from actually trying to

Speaker 2:

get anywhere, I guess. Right? So you know, if, if we're going to get anywhere as you say, we have to, we have to not only be able to continue this process of deconstructing and critiquing the ideas and systems that we find ourselves within, but we also have to be ready to put something in its place as you have said. And as other leftists have said, we need to stop wallowing in the postmodern and the deconstruction of existence, but we need to have something to put in his place. We need to move onto a metta modernist approach and you have sort of put forward this idea of science as not a objective truth as not a modern concept, but as a collective concept to, to understand that because our perception is imperfect and we will never perfectly see or understand the material world around us that science is a collective construct that has a set of rules within which we can constantly grow and critique but have some guidance on the ways that we, the ways that we shape our not only individual but collective perception.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. I mean through science, you know, with some sort of standards of how we look at things, we can, um, we can check and recheck and, and, and it's not just science, but like I said, you're sort of materials are dialectics or historical dialectics, whatever you want to call it. A, there's just general ways of sharing experience with each other is good fiction even works as a good collective izer, but science I think does the best job of, um, I mean at least when it's being done in good faith and to its most sort of rigorous ability. Obviously a science can be a tool to create an authoritarian narrative as much as anything else, but when it's being executed in good faith, I mean you're talking about people repeating the same experiments, people with different perceptions, people, different backgrounds, repeating these experiments in different conditions and similar conditions. Uh, checking constantly checking variables, uh, just doing everything to find what is a sort of common thread through everything. And science can be used in that way. I feel to sort of construct a collective reality which a collective reality is sort of the sum of the individual realities without the intent to validate, but rather the intent to give us a best guess of how to exist and coexist within a world that we have no ultimate control over. I mean, we do have certain amounts of control, but like can we synthesize reality? Not really. A, we can perceive it certainly in a manner that makes, it perhaps seems some synthesizable, but we can't synthesize the material world. That's just not possible. We can synthesize our view of the material world I guess. But again, uh, we need a best guess and we need something that isn't just based and we like this guy the most. So what he says is real. I mean ultimately you could even say that's what Jordan Peterson for instance, or people that are like Jordan Peterson, even Donald Trump or offer is sort of the, this is what validates you. This is what makes you feel as though you are existing in a reality that makes sense to you. That's what they're sort of offering to people. And people obviously want that because people I think probably don't want to feel as though nothing is real. I think that that's probably, that's probably like, in my opinion, the big resistance to postmodernism because I think that when you do go very far into the deconstruction, you start to feel as though nothing is real because ultimately everything that we know about everything is built on human concepts. But the easy way is just to find your trump and believe him, I guess,

Speaker 2:

right? Because if you've come to the, I'm not going to say realization, but put in some other word that means something vaguely similar, that if nothing is really real, if, if we can't ever say that something is real and we can't build up a solid moral system without being able to just tear it down at the foundations, then what is there left to do, but to just enjoy your own personal existence in whatever way that you want and in whatever way that it is that sort of like, make sure you feel good. And validation is a hell of a drug.

Speaker 4:

It is. When I talk about perpetual correctness validation, a perpetual correctness being the idea is kind of the mirror concept to what merit demand like merit. Um, we're a sort of demanded of having merit to exist in society. So, um, a lot of us sort of engage in, in the concepts, uh, or in the ideas that we know that we have some degree of at least persuasiveness and not even necessarily like expertise in. But the ability to be persuasive in a certain topic, um, just some way for us to perpetually be correct and if we can validate ourselves, it doesn't even matter if the thing were validating ourselves about is comfortable or nice or preferable in any way. It just matters that were right about it. Like if there's an asteroid coming towards the planet and Jeff Goldbloom says that asteroid is coming towards the plant. Nobody believes them. The last, you know, five hours of earth, Jeff Goldbloom character gets to walk around and be like, I told you. So. See, there's a asteroid. I was right. And that's, I think, I think that's the sum of validation without, uh, any kind of collective thinking. It's just, it's ultimately just like a bunch of people looking to be able to say, I told you. So

Speaker 2:

that's kind of bleak.

Speaker 4:

It really is. That's why we need to change some things.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And uh, I, I think the last thing to maybe go over, which I don't remember sort of seeing in the book, but I think there's something that that's important to talk about is that you spoke in the beginning of the book the distinction between individuality and individual lithium. You know, one, one is the, you know, the, the uniqueness and difference from person to person and the other is an ideology that centers that person or, or the not even that person, but just the concept of the individual itself I think is a better way to talk about that. I agree. But then when you, when you then start talking about creating a collectivist ideology that sort of moves beyond the individualism of the current age, I think it's important to sort of talk about like why that doesn't destroy individuality. Like why the fact that there is like worth outside yourself that might at times like supersede even you like why that isn't white or isn't destructive? Yeah. Why? Why it's not authoritarian and why someone, people like us who consider ourselves on the libertarian side of the left would, would say that we need this in order,

Speaker 4:

have our own individuality truly expressed well. Okay. So like I was saying earlier, it's a matter of the difference between choice and rights. Choice can be very easily manipulated, but a very hard, right? Like having the right to blink means you have a genuine choice over whether or not you do that. So when we talk about collectivism, we're talking about creating situations in which people have rights to do things as opposed to people have just the ability to choose like a collectivist society. One that actually cares about its people is working on ensuring people have sort of a platform to exist in that does not hinder them. Uh, that's what I mean when I talk about collectivism. I don't mean like subverting to the will of the collect because I don't really believe that that is a worthwhile pursuit. Creating an entity that people have to submit to. I just, I, I don't think that that's what we're trying to do in the least, but as a collective, like we're, what we're saying I think is that more matters than just me. That's a, I mean it matters how other people are able to live matters what they can and cannot do it. Matt, like things matter. It's not just, um, and this is why I think deconstruction starts to get a little dicey for some people because it can ultimately make them feel like those things don't matter. But, you know, I think the deconstruction is more of a worthwhile means of skepticism or critical thinking. Then just to look at a thing. I don't know. I don't really, I, I like to bring up Jordan Peterson because he talks about all of this nonstop. It seems to have no understanding of whatsoever. But I'm like, he basically said, uh, there's a clip that I, I, I just randomly, like, he posted up like an hour and 45 minute lecture and you know, I jumped onto it, like literally immediately just started clicking random spots in it. And I came across this spot where he said that there is no trans community because trans is simply being trend. A trans person is simply a trait and that trait does not create a homogenous group. And this, in my opinion, exposes very much what people think collectivism is. They think that it is an, an ask to be part of a homogenous group. They think that a community or a group of people must be homogenous for it to work. And that's not true because there's no such thing as a homogenous group that doesn't exist. I mean, you can say things that are homogenous along one vector maybe, but there is no such thing as a group of individuals that is homogenous in any way, shape or form. It doesn't exist. So, uh, when we talk about making a collective, we're not talking about making everybody wear jumpsuits and do a rigid schedule that's defined for them every day. And we're talking about recognizing that the world that are towns that are places that we live in, just buildings, neighborhoods, whatever. These are communities and everybody in the matters. And that I think is really the core of what I think collectivism is. I mean, there are going to be people that don't agree with that, but I think that that's probably one of them were agreeable definitions of it at least. And that's what I kind of advocate for. Um, and that's also why I made that book because I think that there's a very big misconception over over, you know, people think that a collective has to be a validation gang or a homogenous group or things like that. I just kind of wanted to undermine that because that's not what it is. I mean, there's more to be said. Obviously there's more to be written on, you know, what a collective can be or how to get there. But I mean it's a start point. That's, in my opinion, that's what customer, yeah, the customer reality and you is ultimately probably more deconstructed than it is reconstructive or, or setting out a, any. Like I set out the idea of seizing oneself as a means of production of reality. And that is ultimately something that somebody can do as an individual that sort of sets them up for being part of a collective better, I think. But it is ultimately not the full road to a more conscious world that regards other people as of equal value to yourself, at least intrinsically speaking. Uh, maybe not materially speaking. I'm not going to say that everybody is going to output the same thing in their lifetime. I'm not. And that shouldn't be required if people like, that's another thing I think is weird about like, people who attack the idea of collectivism is a, you know, for instance, they say like, you're enslaving doctors by having a nationalized health system. Uh, I've, I've heard that argument so many times. I just, I don't understand it. Like, yeah, it's weird like people are okay. So some people want to be doctors and some people don't want to be doctors and that's like basically the full situation regarding that. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Also if, if that were true, then like we're all slaves to our boss.

Speaker 4:

So, so

Speaker 2:

that's the end point of that, that logical argument that they're making. And it's so weird, it's one of those things like capitalists complaining about social is doing things that capitalist do.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. Ultimately the socialist most likely don't do. And our vociferously against it's, it's kind of wild. And what you see so many memes that are like anti socialist, that amount to that, like, yeah, I would say at least two out of three of them, amount to that. It's a large number of them. Um, like the, the whole, uh, the bread line versus the abundance of bread one, I don't know if you've ever seen that one. I don't remember exactly the crux of it, but it was comparing the idea that capitals and produces an abundance of bread. But it's like, all right, well why are there so many people who are starving in the world that, yeah,

Speaker 2:

yeah. Or, or this or this thing about, um, the, the meme about people from the Soviet Union coming to America and Gawking at the wide variety of brands. Uh, and, and people making a big to do about that. And then like not then turning around and going, well, you know, if you lived past World War II in the USSR, you didn't go hungry,

Speaker 4:

you, you, you had a house basically it was a lot better after world war two. Yeah. Like, you know, I still probably wouldn't have lived there. Just yeah, I know there's a, there's obviously some hierarchical problems that exist within the actual organizational structure of the USSR. That's my main gripes with the USSR, not so much what they were at least purporting themselves be trying to do. Um, and it didn't always work correctly. And in some cases things were done that should not have been done, but it was done with a much more noble, at least stated goal. Then capital like capitalism, the stated goal is what's to make money to become more rich. Like supposedly everybody is this temporarily inconvenienced millionaire or whatever. Temporarily embarrassed millionaires. Just this pure

Speaker 2:

snarling greedy id that just consumes everything in its path.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. And that's, I mean, that's basically the stated like the stated goal of it is that everybody might become rich, which obviously that's not possible because, you know, the wealth has asked for an order for somebody to be rich, somebody else has to be poor. You can't just be, everybody can't be rich because if everybody has the same amount, it's not rich, it's just that the world is in abundance of everything. Uh, but what we ended up doing is distributing things so that there are rich people.

Speaker 2:

Um, but yeah, uh, getting a little bit off topic, but uh, uh, one of your most more recent videos was about the Assad question and, and I think that that was a really solid way to talk about how you can have opinions on the good and bad of other things in other systems. But the reason I tend not to, uh, except in very specific circumstances to, to sort of like critique where things went wrong as a way of understanding where we can go better in the future. I don't just like shit on the USSR or.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, look, I said I may not agree with everything about the USSR and in some cases I even think that some things that were done remind me of capitalism more than they remind me of the stated goals of the USSR, but does it make sense to really shit on the USSR when again, the, at least the stated goal, I say at least the stated goal because I'm trying to say that as unbiased as I can because I don't know the motivations of every individual involved in the setup of the USSR, but the stated goal was significantly more noble and I would much rather not shit on that. Then shit on that.

Speaker 2:

Right. And when you shit on other countries or other systems or other people, uh, and you're not aware of or talking about the things that your people in your country, your communities are doing, then you kind of have to exactly as you pointed out, wonder who you are in service to when you say these things.

Speaker 4:

Well, like I probably, I would say that I don't have a favorable opinion personally of Assad, for instance, but if I make a case for why he is Satan, except for a human who has killable, I'm, what I'm doing is making a case for killing him, for attempting to use, uh, the might of the United States to change the situation there. Whether I personally have that opinion and if I say I'm anti-imperialist, but Assad is a monster who needs to be stopped then the takeaway by the person, you have to think of it as a net takeaway as opposed to just like, this is my stated intent and you are to take it that way. Um, you have to take away the net effect because they have a brain as well and they can think and they can make their own choices and make their own interpretations of everything you say. So if you make a case to go after aside, uh, to go after that regime, but you're like, but we shouldn't and that person sees you. Megan, this case, you're saying to them, listen, by all somebody should do something about this. Just I don't think we should, uh, and they're going to go, well that, that isn't, that's not a credible position. If you think somebody should do something about it, we should do something about that. I mean, it's, if you're anti interventionalist, look, I said you can have a personal opinion on Assad, but if you care about the fact that you do have influence with people and it may not be influenced that you intend. You have to be careful about what case you're building. And I think that if we have that argument where we're so fervently I'm demonizing somebody who may by all accounts be terrible. I, I don't try to make the assertion that yes or no Assad is terrible because it's just, it's not, I am a person who lives in Michigan, but if I make that case, I am giving you the perspective of a person who lives in Michigan who does not have a circle of people that involves people from both sides of the conflict. Or actually, I think there's more like four or five sides of the conflict in Syria. Um, I usually just say all sides, all sides involved in Syria. I don't have a, a delegation from each, from each faction. They're telling me the case and I am not the, even in that situation too, if I had a full, like, here's this factions, here's this factions, had a delegate giving me everything, like it's still not really up to me what happens there. And if I make a case that I know what should happen, I just don't think it should happen. It's a mixed message. And people listening, they tend to want to act and, and you know, after 9:11 for instance, would it have been the best idea for us to go into Iraq? No, but we did and we did with popular support and there's a reason for that. It's because people got a case that made them think this was the right thing to do. And if you say, well, we shouldn't go into Iraq, but Iraq has weapons of mass destruction is willing to use them. Um, you're saying we should go into Iraq?

Speaker 2:

Well yeah, because it goes back to that idea that, that you were talking about before that we are all both producer and consumers of reality. Yes, absolutely. So, so um, you know, when, when you are speaking to somebody else with, with whom you might know personally or you know, just because we all have influenced to some degree the things that you say, the ideas that you impart become part of that person's normal. So if the things that you're saying are Assad is Assad is bad in a monster and needs to get taken care of and also anti us imperialism, well one of those is already far more normalized and the other one is not so, so the net effect as you're saying the net effect of what you're doing in, in providing the sort of like both sides of the US as bad and shouldn't do anything but also fuck Assad. Then like the, the net effect is just to normalize further normalize Assad or, or the the anti Assad sentiment that undergirds the justification for this current round of us imperialism.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. So he's basically the, the prompting action, the, there's a prompt and an action, the prompt itself is also an action, but you're doing the action of prompting the person to be making a choice. They're like, if you present both, uh, anti imperialism and anti Assad, your telling the person that they need to choose between those things because you seem to hold two viewpoints so that are contradictory. So when they're listening to that, they're like, well, what do you think? Um, and if you say, well, I think that we shouldn't do this, uh, but they hear, no, Assad's a monster from you who doesn't want to do this, but also here, Assad's a monster from 10 other people and they all want to go in and blow the ever loving hell out of Assad. The net effect is obviously that you contributed to that.

Speaker 2:

Right? And I think that's a very, very relevant sort of practical example of the kind of environmental control and sort of like individualized reality that exactly you're talking about in this book.

Speaker 4:

I was actually very surprised when this argument started crying. I was first mad at Marxist Leninist because it seemed to me like they were just like randomly kind of like being pro Assad and I kind of think that some of them are doing that. It seems like it's a, it's sort of random to be pro Assad. Um, but at the same time, like I gradually just became more and more angry at everybody, including myself because we're all kind of engaging in exactly what I'm talking about in most of the book, which is the need to perpetually be correct to perpetually express an opinion that you feel makes you merit where they. And eventually that led me to the eye, to the realization that we really shouldn't be having the argument over Assad himself. It just, it's, it's, it's not, it's not the focal point. Like, okay, so United States citizens have at least some influence over the United States more than they do over Syria or Russia or any force in that area. So it makes sense that we actually care about what we have some small degree of influence over. If we collectivize it would be more influenced and but collectivizing would mean that we can't be in the weeds on things that you know we have extensively can't actually take action on if we want to follow through on the actual thing. We're all saying I'm anti imperialist. Then we all need to say things that supports anti imperialism as opposed to say things that muddy the waters, but that's collective visor. That's it's imperfect and that's. That's the ultimate thing that we do need to understand. It is imperfect. It is not. It doesn't allow you to have a position where you're considered a good place to go for Assad opinions or whatever. You can't incorporate that into your brand, but that's okay. That should be understandable as how we are, but everybody again is trying to be an expert on everything because everybody's expected to be an expert on everything. It's a really sort of a vicious cycle in which we're expected to be something and continually trying to be that thing. It sucks. I think I. I think that is a pretty good way to describe most of the way that the world of how the world exists right now. It just kind of sucks. Yeah, there's a lot that needs to change. Uh, and again, like I've said this in, in videos, like if I just flat out say this is the thing we have to do, my idea of socialism, my idea of the transfer, how we go, like, it's not, it's an individual saying it again. We have to collectivize for all of this, for any of this stuff. Not, not just any. And all of it has to be done collectively. It has to be the will of the people. It has to be backed by the people. It has to, like we all have to be involved with it and as this sort of fragmented sectarian left that we have now where we can't do that, that's just not gonna happen. Um, and that's, that's the ultimate, that's the reason I see the argument of Assad is such a pivotal thing because, I mean, it's very easy to point out in like a, you know, a liberal situation who's acting out in sort of a lifestyle ism manner. Like they're acting up the lifestyle there larping or whatever you want to call it. Um, it's so easy to point out a liberal trying to look like an expert, but it's much harder to do so with left us because a, we don't want to undermine the left to too much of a degree, but B, we also wanted to show that our faction is the right faction. So it's a really conflicted thing and it's all. The big thing too is that most of these factions are all grounded in some version of theory, which means they're backed by actual intelligent thought. At least whether or not you agree with the intelligent thought is, is entirely up to yourself for myself. But it's much harder to pointed out his lifestyle ism because it, I mean it's, it's closer to what we are for one, but for two, it's, it's grounded in a way that, you know, a thought leader who's talking about like a which laundry detergent is best, uh, doesn't look as absurd or it does look more absurd. I guess whichever one is grammatically correct, the laundry detergent thing is supposed to look more absurd.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um, I feel like I could just sit here and pick your brain sort of all day, but uh, we're coming up pretty close to time here. Is there anything else about the book or anything else that you'd just sort of wanted to generally touch on that you feel we haven't already touched on in the conversation?

Speaker 4:

No, I think that was, I mean there's more to cover. We could easily talk about, you know, the more the need to sort of sees a oneself like in of sort of metaphorical way. We're owned by capital and forces that control our environments. We may not be legally owned or like a in the more traditional idea of ownership. But, uh, we're led in a way that we aren't really like, I guess consenting to, so it's some form of ownership and we do need to sort of remove ourselves from that, but we can't remove ourselves from that with the intention of simply to cut off from everything. Um, it's complex. But I mean, that's, that's another conversation. It's related, but I don't think we could go into that quickly. So. No, but almost. But it definitely starts with Bartleby the scrivener. Which number you bad if you, if you happen to fights

Speaker 2:

very short. Uh, Herman Melville written back in with 18 fifties, forties. I think

Speaker 4:

that sounds about right to me. Yeah, it's very good. It's very good, man. I mean, uh, there's, there's people, you know, the society of the spectacle is also useful thing to read. Um, in my opinion, uh, adjacent to all of this. Uh, I haven't actually read much gramsci yet. Or Graham. See, I don't know how to say his name, I think. Yeah, I was, I actually didn't know about him. And somebody pointed out that he said a lot of things that sound very similar to things that I say and I really want to read. I like theirs. I came to society of the spectacle a couple of years ago after having said a lot of things that sound they're from society of the spectacle and I find that as I read those things, it really sort of pads out what I'm talking about much better. So I mean anything related to anything we've talked about here, it's worth reading

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] and I would say that I'm a known Chomsky's book, a necessary illusions which talks about a lot of these things as they pertain to politics and democracy. The sort of like control of the environment as population control essentially.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. And you know, it also begs the question, is population control even a necessity. You'll see people who have very wildly varying answers to that question. But again, another conversation.

Speaker 2:

Yep. So that is a, I think a pretty comprehensive discussion about a selected couple topics of the book. We didn't want

Speaker 4:

a lot of the, I think, important mechanics to understand the full picture of the book. I would say.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I would still definitely recommend that, that you actually read the book. It's about 200 pages. I read it over the course of an evening. It goes by very quickly. It's written in a fairly humorous style and it is written to be easily understood. It is not that dry, dense with academic jargon, these kinds of things, and I think that's probably the reason why I sped through it so quickly in the evening.

Speaker 4:

Well, I'm glad you thought that because those were a lot of the goals of the book. I realized that there are things that I say in that book that other people have said in the past, but they're often more grounded in much more, like you said, academic terminology. They're often expounded upon like postmodernism. Like I said, if we were to actually talk about a deep discussion of postmodernism, it would be about postmodernism and poststructuralism. It would be about five or six different people minimum and their different opinions on what philosophical thought of that era was. None of them would want to be called a postmodernist a poststructuralist yeah. These, these things usually

Speaker 2:

come about in hindsight rather than in the moment.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. Which is why I wrote that. I said, you know what, postmodernism, that's what everybody knows it as, that's what we're going to talk about it as, um, and just made an, I think a more simplified version of it in order to understand what people are talking about and also sort of be armed for when people, again, like Jordan Peterson sort of come in with the misinformation. So anybody interested in that type of stuff? I, I, that's who I made the book for and that you said it is in any way accessible versions of those, of those ideas. I do appreciate you saying that because it was a goal.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I personally, I would have preferred a, some footnotes to some of the more deeper dryer academic stuff because I'm a glutton for punishment, but that's just me. Anyway. I'm very grateful for you to come onto the show today. This, I really enjoyed this discussion and I think it is something that as we are continuing to actually go out and organize and be a part of our communities, we kind of have to have a, I think more of an idea of the kind of world we're struggling for and, and I think that, you know, maintaining our individuality, but understanding ourselves as part of a collective. It's a huge part of our platform either implicitly or explicitly.

Speaker 4:

Both one could even say. Yeah, yes, it's definitely, it's definitely important not to lose ourselves in it because otherwise I feel as if that is an argument against the whole of, of just a, uh, a system that even tries to treat people fairly. If we lose ourselves, it's not really fair.

Speaker 2:

Right? And so with that, as always, comrades go in peace and solidarity.